Alastair Campbell Quotes | Quotes by Alastair Campbell

1He [Tony Blair] was always ambivalent about the [Rupert] Murdoch papers. But he gave other papers the chance to believe it was just about 'The Independent.' And that was wrong.

2I feel like thanking Paul Dacre every time, because the reason they ask me is because they think I've come through the other end with a pretty good reputation. Loads of people get a bad press but have a good reputation. [David] Beckham - think what he went through. [Bill] Clinton, likewise. You just have to be true to yourself.

3I want to write more books, see my first novel made into a film, fight more campaigns, work in more countries. I want to be able to recall experiences that have endured for their pleasure and range and intensity.

4I think I'm highly loveable.

5What concerns me is that the Independent is going, and there are job cuts at the Guardian, but the wretched Daily Mail is still rampant, making lots of money by millions of people clicking on pictures of cellulited women. I think that's sad.

6One of the more fatuous remarks I've heard in recent days is that 'My Life,' Clinton's autobiography, is too long and, at almost 1,000 pages, short it is not. But this man was for eight years the President of the most powerful country on earth.

7By asking the question 'Am I happy?,' and via the answer setting out what I mean by happiness, there is a political route that can be taken, by asking another question - 'Can politics deliver happiness, and should it try?'

8There are many reasons for the decline in royal esteem. One is that so many of the royals are thick.

9All of this is happening because there has still been no reckoning post the financial crisis. So governments have fallen, one bloke has been to prison, the banks have gone pretty well back to status quo, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. And it's fuelling anger. And somehow [Donald] Trump, who represents the worst aspects of capitalism, has persuaded people he can deal with that.

10I never met David Kelly, but I knew from what he told other people that this was not his view. The BBC were saying that Tony Blair was making up lies so that he could send young men and women to war, maybe to die. I think that if the BBC had done their jobs professionally, they'd have realised that you couldn't justify what they said. And nothing has emerged since to justify that report.

Alastair Campbell Quotes

11The thing about politicians in Britain is that they are out there, you can lobby them, get close to them, there are loads of ways you can protest against them, and booing is a pretty weak way of doing it.

12I have always been driven. I have always believed in what I believe very deeply.

13Clinton is a big personality who has led a big life, and for some of the media conventional wisdom to boil it down to a view that 'all people are really interested in' are a few moments of madness in the Oval Office gets him, the importance of the presidency, and the significance of his life, all wrong.

14May I share with you my earliest memory of a political row? It was with my mother, about the Queen - classic Freudian stuff, shrinks would say. I was eight, and refusing to watch the Queen's Christmas Day broadcast.

15My aunty says I'm the double of my father. He was a workaholic, which I've definitely inherited. And like me, he could be the life and soul of the party, but also quite withdrawn.

16As Tony [Blair] said in his book, Gordon [Brown] was brilliant and impossible. If he'd just been one of those things, the options are obvious.

17Failure, it is thought, is what sells, and what people want to hear and read about. I am not so sure.

18I'm certainly driven, I hate losing, I can be ruthless and short-tempered and terribly competitive.

19I will continue to help the political causes I believe in in any way I can.

20If you look at the other people around at the time - Charles Clarke, Alistair Darling, Jack Straw - they've all gone. And they're not old. What's happened is that someone who is quite old - Jeremy Corbyn - is now leader. We have to take some responsibility for that.

Alastair Campbell Quotes

21Like most meaningful activities, campaigns are team games.

22I remember talking to Alex Ferguson about Tony [Blair] and Gordon [Brown], and he said: "Why doesn't Tony just get rid of him?" But if you sack someone in football, they can't turn up to training the next day. In politics they're still on the pitch. Gordon would still have been a big player.

23There is something in me that makes me see things through.

24So here is one of my theories on happiness: we cannot know if we have lived a truly happy life until the very end. This view of life and death was reinforced by my close witnessing of the buildup to the death of Philip Gould. Philip was without doubt my closest friend in politics. When he died, I felt like I had lost a limb.

25Greg Dyke is on record as saying that once the BBC was attacked, it was their job to defend themselves. But that is not their job.

26I have a nightmare about Tony [Blair] and Gordon [Brown] killing each other. Not every month, but now and then. I also have a recurring dream about losing.

27I had a happy childhood.

28This may sound arrogant, but I believe that if we'd done teamship better, we'd still be there. Where we fell down was the inability to hold together. We should have learnt from the great football teams. The players may not like each other. They have egos, they have their own ambitions, they have different personalities, but they are still bloody good teams.

29For all that the papers would say I was a liar, I took the words I was saying at briefings as seriously as Tony Blair took what he would say at the Despatch Box. I find it very difficult not to tell the truth. I felt I was accountable for what I said.

30Don't accept that you are in crisis just because everyone says you are.

Alastair Campbell Quotes

31To me, marriage is partly a religious thing and I'm not religious.

32I do think it's strange that I get associated with Iraq more than the people who were Foreign Secretary or Defence Secretary. It's because of my closeness to Tony [Blair], which I don't regret at all. I think that was a privilege.

33The media are obsessed with spin doctors and with portraying them as a bad thing, yet seem addicted to our medicine.

34I used to be very routine-based and the new thing in my life is not having a clear, full-time existence.

35Jeremy, are we going to play your games?

36My closest friend, who died not long ago, is buried near Marx's grave in Highgate cemetery, so I see the gaggle of admirers laying roses at the foot of his tombstone regularly. I have never been tempted to leave flowers there myself. Great theories, shame about the practice. Marx did many things. But inventing class was not one of them.

37My dad, Donald, was a vet and had a practice in Yorkshire. Cats and dogs were his bread and butter, but his greatest love was large animals.

38The bad news for journalists today is that the media, however seriously people who are in the public eye take it, is not taken as seriously as it once was - by the public.

39In an ideal world, it would not take a film star to get the media focused on mental illness.

40My public caricature - that of a self-confident alpha male - is only partly accurate.

Alastair Campbell Quotes

41The junk food of political journalism...all reshuffle stories are crap.

42Sometimes Jonathan [Powell] and myself would go to Tony [Blair] and ask him if he was absolutely sure about this or that. That was our job. But ultimately it was his decision.

43Tony's [Blair] convinced I'm going to find God. I do have spiritual moments, but I don't think it's God.

44One day, we will look back and wonder how on earth we used to believe that depression was a lifestyle choice, only to be debated and taken seriously when an A List film star took his life, and the world filled with people saying how shocked and saddened they were.

45Paul Keating told us before we were elected that you can do deals with [Rupert] Murdoch without saying you were doing a deal. Did we do that kind of thing? Maybe. But from around about the turn of the century, I felt strongly that we had to do something about media ownership and self-regulation. Tony [Blair] disagreed.

46Tony [Blair] slowly sucked me back in for the 2005 campaign, and from six months out, I was basically working full time trying to keep the Tony[Blair] - Gordon[Brown] thing together for the campaign. It was awful.

47I hold no candle for George Osborne whatsoever. He has no strategic skills, is a hopeless chancellor, has no idea how most people have to live and his policies are failing and hurting millions.

48Friends have suggested that I am the least qualified person to talk about happiness, because I am often down, and sometimes profoundly depressed. But I think that's where my qualification comes from. Because to know happiness, it helps to know unhappiness.

49We should confine booing in sports arenas to sport. I love a good boo as much as the next football fan.

50The royal family's existence is a constant reminder of the hollowness of John Major's rhetoric, and idiotic statements by its leading members a constant boost to the republican cause. They're fine opening hospitals. It's when they open their mouths they get into trouble.

Alastair Campbell Quotes

51One in four of us will have a mental illness at some point. That is a lot of people.

52The day of the daredevil reporter who refuses to see obstacles to getting the truth, and seeing it with his or her own eyes, seems to have died.